Few players in Celtics history have retained as much love and respect as Larry Joe Bird. In spite of the fact that Larry has been coach, GM and President of the Indiana Pacers since 1997, Celtics fans still see him as a forever Celtic. I've been thinking a lot about Larry lately between Lex's articles from the 1980 season over on Lex Nihil Novi and re-watching several of the Celtics games from the 80's. Last week I watched the March 15, 1992 double OT game between the Celtics and the Blazers. In that game, Larry Bird finished with 49 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists and 4 steals. I just sat in amazement watching him. Sometimes we forget how truly great Larry Bird was.
Bird shouldn't have been that good. He wasn't fast. He wasn't athletic. He couldn't jump. But somehow, Larry Bird became one of the greatest basketball players ever. He compensated for his lack of speed and athleticism by having an incredible work ethic. In Magic Johnson's biography he makes fun of Bird's mediocre athletic talent, slow feet and minuscule vertical leap but he immediately adds that Bird was the only player he truly feared. As Magic Johnson said of Larry, "There will never, ever, ever be another Larry Bird." Tommy Heinsohn said of Bird, "Larry was playing chess when everyone else on the court was playing checkers."
After being very quiet after the season, Paul Pierce is talking now. After a video interview on Celtics.com that I posted about here, now the Globe has some more from the Captain after his annual basketball camp at Basketball City near TD Garden.
Paul Pierce was drafted by the Celtics and when he could have gone elsewhere during the bad times, he chose to stay with the Celtics. He won a championship with the Celtics and most feel he will retire as a Celtic. Pierce's contract has a team option for 2013-14 and he expresses his thoughts on what may happen beyond this season.
"I think I am going to play this one out. I want to see what it feels like to be a free agent for once in my life. I think I am going to play this one out. A lot can change in two years. My body (may not) be where I want it to be, I could retire, a lot of things could happen. It's not about the money at this point. I love the game. I made as much money as I possibly can. It's about winning a championship and if I feel like it's the right thing to do, maybe so (come back) but I really don't know the specifics on the KG deal or Jason Terry's deal. If i solidify my third year, maybe they opt out, so it's about keeping your options open. If they don't want me back, I feel like I'm good enough and I'll be wanted by a lot of teams. I'm coming into this year and I just made another all-star team at 34. So I'm still feel like I'm playing at a great level."
He confirmed Ray Allen's statement that he didn't try to recruit Ray to come back. He expressed that he wanted Ray back and felt that would have given them the best chance to get to the Finals, but that he also didn't feel that there was anything he, or anyone else, could say that would change Ray's mind. To me, this says that Paul knew that Ray was leaving right from the beginning.
After a little uncertainty about the direction Danny would take after the season ended, Pierce is ready to come back and fight for another championship in Boston.
"I am about to redo my carpet, no seriously. I wasn’t about to. But I am about to put new furniture in my basement knowing I’ll probably be here a couple of more years. No, that’s the truth. I wouldn’t have done that if I thought I was going somewhere else.”
He feels confident that the Celtics can play with anyone this season and that the Celtics are still an elite team. The moves that Danny made will take some pressure off of both KG and himself and give them a chance to contend for yet another title. As far as his thoughts on whether Ray will get booed when he returns to the Garden, he had this to say,
"If the crowd boos Ray then the (rivalry with the Heat) will be crazy. It's going to be crazier than it really it already. But I don't expect them to boo Ray for the time that he put in here, what he's accomplished, he'll get cheered. Maybe the first time (he comes to Boston)."
Well, maybe a cheer when he is introduced, but I'd expect a lot of boos thereafter. Ray will always be a a part of Banner 17, but now he's with the enemy and the hatred for all things Heat runs very deep. And, as for Paul finishing his career elswhere, I can't imagine him in any other uniform. Paul Pierce is a Celtic.
The image at the top is from a very talented artist, Derrick Trotman. If you would like to see more of his work, please check out his website.
Here's a video of Rondo's post-practice workout. I still say that Rondo's problem with his jumper is in his head now. When he just shoots and doesn't have time to think about it, he's a very good shooter. But when he stops and thinks or when he hesitates, he struggles. If he gets so he can consistently hit that shot, he's going to be very, very scary. (h/t Ballislife)
David Stern has had much to say about flopping recently. He's been threatening to do something about it for the past couple of years. In the meantime, LeBron James has made flopping into an art form.
The refs too often fall for the acting jobs and reward the flopper with free throws. If they fell for the academy award winning performances in the video above, how will they ever be able to determine real from flop?
If the refs can't determine these clear flops now, how can they threaten penalties for them. Maybe the answer is to get better referees, or for the ones we have to do their job instead of giving certain players a free pass. The flagrant called on Chandler above is an example of the refs watching film and still not recognizing the acting job and handing out a flagrant foul.
Every year, dozens of flagrant fouls and technicals are rescinded after the fact, but that is little comfort to a team that lost a close game due to those calls. I guess the league will be combing through every game tape watching for flops so as to fine players and pad the NBA coffers. I doubt giving up a couple thousand dollars will stop any player from flopping as long as they still get the free throws for it from the refs. It's all about wins and losses and if a flop will get them 2 points, then what's a little bit of money. Teams may even pitch in to pay the fines for the better floppers. Will they really call King James on his flops, or will the star players still get away with flopping simply because they are stars?
As we can see from the following video, flopping isn't anything new. I think though it's become more prevalent because players get away with it. Here is a video of Celtics patriarch, Red Auerbach, ranting against flopping. With the help of Hall of Fame referee, Mindy Rudolph, they give the solution to flopping - just don't call it. Don't reward the flopper by giving him free throws eventually, as he watches his player go past him and score while he is lying on the floor flopping like a fish, he will get the message and just stop the acting. But that would take competent referees, and I'm not so sure we have them any more. After years of coddling by David Stern, I don't know if refs these days are capable of determining flop from foul. If they could, Red's solution would be perfect.
Paul Pierce has been in the news the past couple of days. He gave a very candid interview on Celtics.com in which he talks about his feelings about Ray's departure and this upcoming season. The photo on the left was posted on the Captain's Facebook page with the title just "Training." He previously posted a photo titled "Working" that I posted here if you missed it.
If you haven't already watched the interview with Pierce, it is posted on Celtics.com and you can go here to watch it. In the interview he admits to being a little bitter over Ray leaving for Miami but says that he's still a brother of his and that the things he's done for the Celtics won't be forgotten. He's excited for this upcoming season and here's what he had to say about the team that Danny has put together.
"I thought Danny did a good job of trying to replace Ray Allen. As you know Ray Allen went off to Miami, on his choice, but he was a great teammate, it was fun playing with him. But I think the guys coming in here - Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, trying to get a healthy Jeff Green, even some of our rookies - I think we’ve added a lot more depth, and it’s going to take a lot of pressure off me this upcoming season."
"I’ve always been a big fan of Jason Terry. Playing against him in college for a couple years, then watching his NBA career flourish over the years. From winning a championship to just bringing that element to our ball club now - he’s one of best sixth men all-time to play the game. That’s something we were lacking a year ago, and that was only due to injuries, so hopefully he can bring that consistency, that championship experience, so we can get back to where we were a few years ago."
Pierce also discussed the MCL injury that he suffered in the playoffs last season. It would seem that the injury was worse than the team let on as he has spent most of the offseason strengthening the area around the knee to help the MCL heal. He admits that he is still only at about 90% but it has been responding well to the treatment and work. He's been focused on strengthening the quad and hamstring to alleviate stress on the knee and so that he can come back stronger this season.
The Captain is excited for the new season and had this to say about the upcoming season:
"We’re going to build on what we did last year. I think we’re more talented. We were able to bring back Brandon Bass -- we brought back our starters and then added to it. I think we have a deeper and better bench. Hopefully, it reflects better in the playoffs, so that we can go for a championship."
I've written a couple articles lately about how Red put character first in choosing his players and how important signing players with good character is to developing chemistry on a team. I said in one article that I thought Danny did a good job in bringing in that type of player for this year's Celtics.
Today, in the Sun News, there is evidence of this very thing. We know that Chris Wilcox was seen in the Garden cheering on his former teammates while recovering from heart surgery and we know that he was very grateful to the Celtics for re-signing him this season and has been very humble in his interviews. As far as I could tell, he retweeted every message he got from Celtics fans welcoming him back.
He is also active in giving back to the community and helping out others who are less fortunate. Wilcox is hosting his 4th annual golf tournament today at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club to help fund the battle against Lupus. He has been very vocal about the cause on Twitter and has given a lot of himself to fight this very debilitating disease.
But his charitable spirit didn't stop with organizing the golf tournament, he also helped the local food bank out by delivering a pickup truck load of food to help restock their shelves in a time when many charities are struggling. He was even considerate enough to call ahead to ask them what kind of food they needed instead of just picking random items and then he and his family helped to unload the truck after they delivered it to Helping Hand food bank.
The Daily Times reports that Celtics new signee, Dionte Christmas, led a trio of former Temple players on a team called "Take Your Game To Another Level" to win the Delco Pro-Am title with a 67-62 victory. The tournament took place at Haverford College just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
One of Christmas' teammates was former Knick, Mardy Collins, who played for the D-League Select team in the Vegas Summer League, and who led the Take Your Game team with 22 points. Christmas, for his part, scored 15 points, showing his 3 point range. Hopefully, come October, Christmas will put his championship experience to use as he plays with the Celtics in training camp.
Well, not exactly the Energizer Bunny but the Bulls feel that Nate Robinson is going to be their version of the famous bunny that keeps going and going and going. Any Celtics fan who remembers the Shrek and Donkey game with Nate and Big Baby, can see the resemblance. Former Celtics assistant, Tom Thibodeau, has had a thing for bringing in former Celtics. First it was fan favorite, Brian Scalabrine and now, another fan favorite, Nate Robinson. For his part, Nate is very excited to be joining the Bulls.
"It's a blessing and I'm honored," Robinson told the media gathered at the Berto Center. "Great legacy, great tradition, a lot of history, and of course, my favorite player has a statue right outside. It's a great privilege."
"There were a lot of other teams," Robinson continued, "but you really can't pass on an opportunity like this to play for the Bulls, who are like America's team, Chicago is a great city."
Today marked the end of the Greg Stiemsma era in Boston. He was introduced by the Timberwolves at a press conference today. Stiemsma said that he had hoped to return to Boston but they didn't have to twist his arm very hard to get him to return to that part of the country, which is just half a day's drive from his hometown in Wisconsin. He gave props to KG saying this about the Celtics' big man, "He was always willing to teach. He's got such a high knowledge of the game." Stiemsma also said that his feet are feeling great and he doesn't feel limited. He will wear #34 for the Wolves. That seems to be a popular number for former Celtics this off season.
Speaking of centers, in spite of the fact that the Heat have been linked to just about every available center out there including Darko Milicic, Jermaine O'Neal, Ben Wallace, Joel Przybilla, and others, Pat Riley is quoted in the Sun Sentinel saying that the Heat don't need a center. He uses Tim Duncan as an example of the way they use Chris Bosh at center. And looking back, the centers on their team have all been benched in the Finals in favor of a small lineup with Bosh at center and LeBron James at power forward. I'd say that the Celtics are in good shape as far as matching up with them from this standpoint. Both teams have converted their power forwards to serve as centers. I'd take KG over Bosh any day, Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Along with the importance of chemistry that I wrote about previously, is the importance of team. Does a team need 2, 3 or even 4 stars in order to win a championship? Or, can a team made of role players with perhaps second tier stars who play as a team and pull together for a common goal do as well as a team with one or more super stars?
It's easy to point to the success of the 1986 Celtics with their Big 3 of Bird, McHale and Parish or to the 2007 with their Big 3 of Pierce, Garnett and Allen, or to the 2012 Heat with James, Wade and Bosh and say that having 3 super stars on a team does give a distinct advantage to a team. But, the question is, does a team have to have superstars in order to win?
And then there was the Rockets team back in 1996 when they brought their own big 3 trying to win it all. From an article in the Sporting News back in 1996:
One great player can get a team on NBC. Two great players will give a team an excuse to print playoff tickets But in today's NBA, a team needs three great ones to dream of a championship. That's why the Rockets are smiling in their sleep these days. With Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler, they may not have guaranteed reservations for next June. But they won't be swept by the Super-Sonics again, either.
This team had 3 Hall of Fame superstars, but this trio never really meshed and Drexler retired at the end of the season. They then brought in Scottie Pippen to team with Barkley and Olajuwon and the result was the same. The trio never meshed and the Rockets didn't win the championship. They brought in parts that never really fit together. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Baron Davis is launching his own gaming company. His first game is called Getting Buckets and will feature Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo along with Baron Davis, Steve Nash, Brandon Jennings and Candace Parker. Baron describes his game as more “Temple Run” than “NBA Ballers,” and in it, players dribble a basketball and sprint through a variety of environments in order to collect as many buckets as they can before time runs out.
Here is Baron's explanation on how he arrived at his choice of players for the game.
Sean talked about definitely wanting a female athlete to represent the brand, and it was really personality driven. We wanted to capture guys who had style and personality on the court, so that was how we initiated our search. We wanted guys who are socially active and have that personality that we want to bring to life in this game. I think what’s cool about this is, a lot of companies will run to the “superstar” players to get it done, but that’s not the way we did it. We went with guys who are more into their social distribution pipeline and, more importantly, players with personality. This game is about having fun and about exploring the personalities of the avatar.
Yep, that's our Rondo... all style and personality. Let's hope Baron does better with his company than Curt Shilling did with his. Let's just say he's off to a good start by featuring Rajon Rondo in his first game.
Adrian Wojnarowski always has the scoop over on Yahoo and he has done it again with his article on Doc's interview about Ray's decision to leave the Celtics for South Beach. Here are Doc's words from that interview on why he blames himself for Ray's decision to leave:
"People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo," said Rivers, who is working as an NBC analyst during the Olympics. "I'm the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I'm the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn't mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time.
"Think about everything [Allen] said when he left, 'I want to be more of a part of the offense.' Everything was back at Rondo. And I look at that, and say, 'That's not Rondo's fault.' That's what I wanted Rondo to do, and that's what Rondo should've done. Because that's Rondo's ability. He's the best passer in the league. He has the best feel in the league. He's not a great shooter, so he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. And that bothered Ray.
"And not starting [games] bothered Ray. I did examine it, and the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray. If I hadn't done that, I would've been a hypocrite. In the opening speech I make every year, I tell the team: 'Every decision I make is going to be what's good for the team, and it may not be what's good for the individual.' "
Going back to my post today about chemistry and team having to come before a player's ego, Ray had to leave. He had gotten to the point where his ego was more important to him than the good of the team and that would have been poisonous to this team if he stayed with the Celtics this season. In a great post today on Lex Nihil Novi, Lex agrees with Doc's decision that Rondo has to be the guy to take control. Doc said he listens to his players and not a single one told him he was wrong for starting Avery over Ray. That's because everyone saw how much better the Celtics were with Avery in the starting lineup.
Everyone, that is, except Ray. And so, even if Doc takes the blame for Ray leaving, it's ultimately Ray who is to blame. He's the one who decided to put his ego over what was best for the team. Doc made decisions that clearly made the team better. And if those decisions made Ray bitter, I wish him luck in Miami, because those same decisions will have to be made there and a player who can't put the team above himself will never be a good thing for a team. And for the Celtics to win this season, it has to be team above all, just as it was in 2008.
Chemistry is one of the most important but underrated pieces to building a championship team. The 2007-08 team built incredible chemistry on their way to Banner 17. First, we saw the unity of the 3 stars as Pierce and Allen flew in to be there for KG's press conference. Then, all 3 went back to Boston early to work out together and further build chemistry. They made a point of appearing for interviews and pictures as a unit. They adopted the concept of ubuntu as their theme as they each played to make each other and the team better. They were unified with one goal, and that was winning a championship.
It was five years ago today, on July 31, 2007, Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, cash considerations,and two first round draft picks. At that moment, the culture of the Celtics changed. The new Big 3 was formed and defense and intensity became the themes for the Boston Celtics.
Five years later, we are entering into another phase of the Garnett era. The big 3 is no more, but defense and intensity are still the themes for this team. The first
phase of the Garnett era began with a title, and hopefully this phase will begin with a title as well. Happy Anniversary KG!
The Celtics have re-signed Keyon Dooling and signed Jason Collins, Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas. More info here: on.nba.com/OkqEvP
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 31, 2012
Even though the intent to sign all four was announced previously, the Celtics made the 4 signings official today.
Keyon Dooling was officially inked to a one year veteran's minimum contract. This signing was expected from the moment Fab Melo was told that #51 wasn't available. Dooling provides leadership on and off the court and also has taken Rondo under his wing resulting in a noticeable increase in Rondo's maturity over the past season.
Also made official were the signings of 2 of the Celtics' Summer League players - Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas. Christmas and Smith have signed partially guaranteed minimum contracts. They will have to prove themselves in camp in order to secure a spot on the regular season roster. Smith seems to be the odd man out at this point.
Jason Collins, a 7 foot center, was also inked today. Collins is an 11 year veteran who will provide post defense against the bigger centers in the league, such as Bynum and Howard.
Now, if only they could get Jeff Green's contract done. His signing has been imminent for more than a month now, even though he was already introduced at a press conference. Fifteen down and at least one to go.
July 17, 2012 – Jason Terry, aka JET, signed with the Boston Celtics for the MLE (mid level exception), 3-years, circa $5,000,000 per season. Terry is best known as the 2008-2009 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, and a key member of the Dallas Mavericks 2010-2011 NBA Championship team.
Jason Terry attended Franklin High School, in Seattle, Washington, where he led the school to 1994, and 1995 3A Washington State titles. Terry's number, #31, is officially retired at Franklin High School.
Jason Terry attended Arizona University, in Tuscon, AZ, where he was a key member of the 1996-1997 NCAA Championship team. Terry was named the 1998-1999 PAC-10 Player of the Year, and Consensus NCAA American first team.
Jason Terry was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1999 NBA draft (10th overall). Terry was named to the 1999-2000 NBA All Rookie second team. After five seasons with Atlanta, Terry was traded to the Dallas Mavericks with teammate Alan Henderson, and a future first round pick, for Antoine Walker, and Tony Delk. In eight seasons with Dallas, Terry was also a key member of the 2005-2006 NBA finals team.
By the Numbers:
3 (# of teams played for)
13 (# of seasons played)
16.1 (point per game, career season average)
.448 (field goal percentage, career season average)
.380 (three point percentage, career season average)
.846 (free throw percentage, career season average)
16.9 (point per game, career playoffs average)
.448 (field goal percentage, career playoffs average)
.394 (three point percentage, career playoffs average)
.827 (free throw percentage, career playoffs average)
In posting the links the past few days, I've noticed that there hasn't been any Celtics news in the Boston media. The blogs still keep churning out posts, but as far as NESN, CSNNE, the Globe and Herald, we have entered that portion of the off season where we can go several days without any real news from the team. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however. Instead of lamenting the fact that there are no Celtic stories in the main stream media today, I'm counting my blessings.
No headlines means that no Celtic has had a sudden, unexpected medical procedure or medical emergency.
There have been no bar fights involving any of our rookies or veterans and none have been arrested for illegal possession of a gun or for discharging a gun in public. .
Not a single Celtic was arrested driving at high speeds while under the influence and crashing his car.
We have not traded our future for a 38 year old point guard who will probably miss his old training staff more than anyone can imagine.
We didn't pay $10,000,000.00 per season for a center who averages 3 points per game or for a point guard who has played a total of 35 games.
We don't have a player who is threatening to hold out and refuse to play for our team this season if he doesn't get this or that.
In fact, we haven't even traded half our team for a one year rental for a pouting player who got his coach and GM fired and has so totally disrupted his old team that they may not recover.
Our owner has not been indicted for discriminatory housing practices or been charged as an accessory to sexual harassment.
Yes, no news is good news at this point in the off season.
There have been several articles on the USA basketball team and the fact that there are no Celtics on the team. The Celtics' stars were pretty much beat up at the end of last season and even if one of them wanted play for team USA, they needed time to heal and I just don't see how they would have been able to. And I doubt that USA basketball was interested in recruiting any of the Celtics' role players. But, the Celtics are still well represented at the Olympics.
I was going through the channels with Olympic coverage the other day and saw a game that looked like what you would get if you mixed soccer and volleyball and basketball together. I had no idea what the rules were or anything about the game, but I sopped on it because I heard a familiar voice. Celtics long time TV announcer and five time Emmy winner, Mike Gorman, was doing the play by play commentary for team handball. I had to watch that game, and tune into another when I saw it listed, just to listen to Mike.
If you watched any of the basketball games, you recognized another familiar voice as Donny Marshall was calling the games. Donny Marshall is making his Olympic debut with NBC as a basketball analyst for the summer games.
Another familiar face you will see is CSNNE reporter Carolyn Manno. Carolyn is making her Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London as a sports desk anchor and reporter. We often see her on CSNNE on Comcast SportsNet interviewing players and reporting on the various Boston teams.
Finally, Doc Rivers is an analyst for the basketball coverage for NBC. It's not surprising that they nabbed Doc for this assignment. He's one of the best basketball analysts out there and gives some great candid insights into the games being played. The Celtics may not have any players in London, but they are well represented in the media category.
Are you one of the Celtics fans who longs for the good old days when a clothesline in the Finals was just a regular foul? Do you long for the days when Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish WERE walking through those doors? Well, I've got good news for you. At 5:30 PM ET today, on NBA-TV, as part of Old School Monday, they will air a Celtics-Pistons game from March 3, 1985. Kevin McHale torched Detroit for 56 points in a 138-129 win over the Pistons at the Boston Garden. Isiah Thomas had 33 points in the loss and Larry Bird chipped in with 30, but it was McHale's 22-28 shooting that stole the show in this one.
And, if you want to further immerse yourself in Celtics past, at 7:30 PM ET, you can watch the Chicago Bulls vs. the Boston Celtics Game 2, in the 1986 Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. This double overtime game featured Michael Jordan's record 63 points but the Celtics' teamwork overcame Jordan's explosion to win the game. This was the game that prompted these much quoted comments from Larry Legend: "I didn't think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us. He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it's just God disguised as Michael Jordan."
And for those masochistic type Celtics fans, there is a replay of all 5 episodes of the Association that featured the Celtics from 3:00 AM ET through 5:30 AM ET. I still have not watched the final two episodes where they learn about the Perk trade. I just can't. But if you're into staying up all night and feel you need a Celtics' fix, it's there.
First NBA player to break a backboard
Chuck Connors, Boston, Nov. 5, 1946
Connors, who would later go on to much greater fame as the star of TV's "The Rifleman," broke the backboard at Boston Arena before the Celtics' maiden home opener against the Chicago Stags. Contrary to popular belief, he did not do it with a dunk.
"During the warm-ups, I took a harmless 15- to 20-foot set shot, and, crash, the glass backboard shattered," Connors recalled in a 1986 interview. The backboard crumbled because a worker had not installed a piece of protective rubber between it and the rim. The game was delayed an hour while a truck picked up a spare backboard from Boston Garden, where a rodeo was taking place in front of a packed house.
In 53 career games with the Celtics, Connors averaged 4.5 points per game. After leaving basketball, he tried his hand at baseball, playing briefly for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs, before finding his niche in Hollywood as The Rifleman.
I came across this documentary with Brandon Bass that was filmed just before the trade to Boston. It's a really good look at Brandon and it's a good way to get to know him better. He's a quiet guy, and so we don't see him in the headlines much, unlike his predecessor, Big Baby. . In "The Pursuit" we get a look into Brandon's preparation, hobbies, and the unpredictability of life in the NBA. I really like Brandon and this makes me even happier that the Celtics have re-signed him to a contract that will keep him in Boston for years to come. He's a hard worker and because of that, the best truly is yet to come.